As age groupers who keenly follow the sport’s elite athletes we sometimes think that if we trained like them we could become as good as them. But individual talent and genetics, amount of time available to recover, years of consistent training, and access to expertise are a few of the things that differentiate the cream of the crop from the rest of us.
The good thing is there are still enough common aspects between their training and ours that we can learn from.
With the announcement of his technical project manager for Sub7 as well as a series of Instagram Stories on the Bahrain Endurance 13 account, dual Olympic gold medalist Alistair Brownlee revealed bits and pieces of how he trains. Here are some useful things we picked up.
Consistency is the Foundation
“My tip for triathlon is: number one, train consistently over a long period of time. That's how you get fit, stronger and prepare well. For race day make sure you know exactly what you're doing and you're not trying anything for the first time on the big day.”
What His Training Looks Like
“When I was competing at Olympic distance racing I would run anywhere between 80 and up to 120 kilometers in a week.
“A normal week for me is probably somewhere in the region of 30 hours of training: six bike rides a week, six runs a week, and five swims every day, slightly different. A couple of gym sessions, some physio and massage as well.”
How He Recovers and Looks After His Body
“Being tired and training hard is part of being an endurance athlete. If I feel like I'm over training, I think I've already gone too far. So I have a few easy days, make sure I sleep really well and eat really well to recover.
“As I've gotten older I've had to adapt my training to train less, to try and train more effectively and efficiently to get the most out of every session and look after my body more.
“I normally have one physiotherapy session a week and one massage a week. Strength and conditioning makes up a big part of my program now… I do mostly rehab stuff, looking after my calves, lower legs, hamstrings, hips. Plenty of flexibility and strength [work] as well.”
Moving Up to Ironman
“The transition from Olympic distance to ironman is a big jump. You're going from a less than a two-hour race to an eight-hour race. There's a lot of things to get right, mostly pacing and nutrition. I got those spectacularly wrong in one of my first ironmans.
“My bike tips for middle distance racing are: plenty of time on the bike, train to be really good at constant power rather than spiking it to be really efficient; and nutrition, nutrition, nutrition.”
Carbon Plate Shoes Work
“Yes, the carbon-plated super shoes are definitely faster. I think they're worth 30 seconds over 10k at the end of a triathlon. They seem to make more difference to some people than others.”
While we may not be able to access the bleeding-edge technology Alistair has when it comes to equipment and nutrition, we see the importance of dialing these in for ourselves. With an MX Endurance membership, you get access to our team of experts as well as our extensive range of partner discounts so that you too can perform at your peak.